Coronavirus: How to Clean Your Cellphone

Our cellphones are one of the items we have to disinfect properly in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. What are the recommendations? Learn all about them in this article.
Coronavirus: How to Clean Your Cellphone
Leonardo Biolatto

Written and verified by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

The alerts due to the spread of Covid-19 around the world have forced countries to take drastic preventive measures. Many people aren’t allowed to leave their houses except for essential business. However, simple actions such as washing your hands and disinfecting your home, are available to all of us. However, an important question has arisen about cellphones.

We’ll show you how to clean your cellphone in this article.

Why should I clean my cellphone?

This question arises for a very obvious reason: most of us have frequent contact with our mobile’s surface. In addition to this, we also bring it close to our face to answer calls, to our mouths to send recordings, and even let other people use it at times.

While there are no reports of contagion from contact with such devices so far, scientists believe that, like with other similar viruses, Covid-19 may remain on mobile phone screens for a certain period. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep them clean.

How to disinfect and clean your cellphone

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s important to distinguish between cleaning and disinfecting. In the cleaning process, we get rid of dirt and some germs without killing them. Disinfection, however, uses chemicals that help to kill the germs present on different surfaces.

When thinking about this, beyond removing the obvious dirt from the cellphone, we must try to disinfect them to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Let’s remember that it’s one of the objects that we use most of throughout the day, and also one of the things we often never think of cleaning.

So, how can you clean your cellphone effectively?

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Avoid the use of aggressive chemicals to clean your cellphone

A person with a cellphone.
The mobile phone is one of the objects we use most throughout the day. Therefore, as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 crisis, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of cleaning it.

First of all, we have to take into account that cellphones have some specific characteristics that require special attention. Most of them have an oil-repellent cover, which helps to keep the screen clean and avoid marks such as fingerprints. This coating requires special treatment, as its function is protective and can be affected by the application of chemicals. Knowing this, we must avoid the use of bleach solutions or conventional cleaning agents.

Use soft cloths to clean your cell phone

The cloth we use to clean our mobile phones should be made of soft fabrics that don’t contain lint, like the ones usually given in opticians when buying new lenses. The use of scourers, sponges or very abrasive cloths can also cause damage and imperfections in the device.

Companies such as Apple and Google have recommended turning off your phone before starting any cleaning process. Also, to leave it completely clean, they recommend moistening the cloth with a little water and soap. However, we must prevent moisture from entering the openings on the phone.

Use disinfectant wipes to clean your mobile

Someone cleaning their cellphone.
Disinfectant wipes are a good option for disinfecting mobile device screens.

Due to the current problems caused by the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19), Apple updated its website with relevant information on how to disinfect cellphones. In this regard, we are told that it’s safe to clean the iPhone and its other products with disinfectant wipes.

Their advice is that you carefully wipe the outer surfaces of your iPhone with 70% isopropyl alcohol or Clorox brand disinfectant wipes. Don’t use bleach. Prevent moisture from entering the openings and don’t immerse your iPhone in any cleaning agents.

A solution of water and alcohol

In a publication for the journal Health, microbiologist Charles Gerba gives his recommendations for how to clean your cellphone these days. According to this expert, we can use a microfiber cloth that’s slightly moistened with a solution of 60% water and 40% alcohol.

With this solution, we must also be careful, as the mixture shouldn’t be applied directly to the smartphone as it can damage it. Ideally, use a small corner of the cloth to remove excess liquid.

Wash your hands frequently

Last but not least, we must again emphasize the importance of washing our hands several times a day. Entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasize that regular handwashing with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based disinfectant, helps to inactivate the virus if it’s present on our hands.

This, of course, complements the cleaning and disinfection of our cellphones, which has frequent contact with our hands. However, truth be told, this is something we should be doing even when we come out of the current coronavirus health crisis.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.